Contract Up, Parcells No Longer Tied To Dolphins


3 and 1/2 years ago the Miami Dolphins officially announced that Bill Parcells would be joining the team as the grand poobah of all things football.  He would answer only to then owner Wayne H. Huizenga.  The move was heralded across Miami fan sites and local media and the announcement echoed the fans thoughts after seeing the Dolphins finish their worst season as a franchise.

“He has a proven track record of success everywhere he has been in the National Football League,” Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said,”And his football acumen will help put the Miami Dolphins franchise back among the elite of the NFL.”

In the end, the Miami Dolphins are no more closer to being elite than they were when Cam Cameron was coaching the squad.  O.k., that’s not really true but Parcells’ legacy in Miami will be one that we are all sure he would just as soon forget.  With his contract up, as reported in USToday VIA team PR man Harvey Greene, Parcells’ legacy will likely skip his last stop.

Earlier in 2011 the NFL Network ran a historical piece on Bill Parcells’ career, it began with his early coaching days and ended with his last coaching stop in Dallas.  His Miami time not mentioned.  What Bill Parcells got of Miami is simple.  A lot of guaranteed money and little else.  His drafts were questionable and his free agent approach was worse.  Some believe that his appointment of HC Tony Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland have been hindrances while others are still taking a wait and see approach.

If his choices in management were questionable, his drafts and player acquisitions were more so.

Consider that in the time Bill Parcells was with Miami, the end of 2007 until a week before taking on his “consultant” role a week before the regular season started, the roster has seen more turnover without the benefit of seeing, well, benefits.

It would be foolish to say that every free agent, every draft pick, and every re-signed veteran was his fault, the one fact that remains is that it was ultimately his responsibility and no one elses.  It could easily be argued as to who wanted whom between Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells but final decisions were all Parcells and Parcells’ alone.  Thus failure of any, and success, could and should be burdened on his shoulders.

Parcells was not the coach of the Dolphins but his imprint on the team was evident by the way it was staffed.  The prototype NFL player model that Parcells used since his early days of coaching was outdated.  The lack of speed and deep passing attack was mired in the play calling of one of Bill’s personal and longer friends, OC Dan Henning.  As his interest waned in the last two years, specifically after Wayne Huizenga sold the team to Stephen Ross, it was an afterthought that Parcells would simply leave and take the guaranteed money with him.

He didn’t leave immediately but he left a long time before it officially became news today.

Bill Parcells legacy to the NFL will remain as a 2 time SB winning coach who took the Patriots to a Super Bowl as well and the Jets to the AFC Championship.  He will be credited with inspiring coaches like Bill Belichick.  In Miami, his tenure will be nothing short of another in a long line of big name failures that started back with Jimmy Johnson.

Bill Parcells came to the Dolphins after Wayne Huizenga jumped between Bill and the Atlanta Falcons who were set to make him their “grand poobah” of the franchise.  Looking back, I would think they are glad that Wayne H. intervened.

The Dolphins teeter on the edge of a questionable future with both their GM and HC surrounded by questions of their future regardless of the confidence established by owner Stephen Ross publicly.  The QB situation is still as it was 10 years ago and the team is still not close to becoming relevant yearly in the playoff picture.  Close to the division?  Maybe.

Parcells doesn’t leave much of a legacy in Miami and it could be argued that his time here is viewed as a failure.  The Dolphins have had three “legends” of the game employed to run their football operations.  Parcells, Jimmy Johnson, and Don Shula.  Of the three, only Shula saw complete success and to this day, the team still is searching for that lost identity.

What does the departure, officially of Bill Parcells leave you with?

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Tags: Bill Parcells Jeff Ireland Miami Dolphins Tony Sparano Wayne Huizenga

  • fins4ever1

    Great article, as usual. I agree with most of what you wrote, but feel the draft picks have improved from what we had, not to say that says alot. The Turner and White pick stick out the most, but there were good picks too.

    To me the worst part of Bill’s regime was the fact it was based on a buddy system instead of qualifications. I am glad TS has had an opprotunity to coach and JI for a chance to GM, but it would be difficult to convince me they were the best available and in the best interest of the organization.

    By far the worst was Henning. While he had one good year due to the weakest schedule in the NFL and Penny catching fire, he should have never been hired. His self righteous attitude alone would drive away most employers.

    I will finish by saying it isn’t all Bills fault. The Fins offered him an open out, extremely lucrative contract that paid him huge money and allowed him to leave any time after WH sold the team. Whoever, wrote that contract that had no provisions for responsibilty or productivity should be / have been terminated.

    We should not be surprised, as the article points out, BP has done nothing in 15 years except leave a wake in his path of unfinished projects. If it looks like a snake, crawls like a snake……